Dead Crows

by Debbie Ann Eis

The night my husband became a transvestite, crows started dying. They fell from the sky like black umbrellas, hitting the ground with a thud. A rainstorm of birds. I figured it was a virulent strain of bird flu that drifted into the clouds and killed them all just like that. There they were, flying around in circles, and bam! Sick. Dead. A virus that behaved like a shotgun pellet.

I told Earl, who was dressed like Queen Elizabeth for a Halloween party, not to touch the birds. He wobbled outside in his comfortable pumps and leaned way over to study their limp bodies, poking a few with a stick. There were at least four dozen birds in our yard. A few more plopped by him before he finally decided to hurry back inside.

I was not Prince Philip. I was Woody Allen, because I kind of look like him, and only Woody Allen would show up at a party with a husband dressed like Queen Elizabeth. My husband had planned everything out that night. Dressed up like the Queen, he would talk to me about his quirky coming out. But then the crows started dying, so Earl decided, rightly so, to deal with the crows first.

After the thudding stopped, we got garbage bags and started the cleanup. When crows fall all over your yard, you don't stand around asking questions, you clean them up.

There would inevitably be media coverage, panic, flu shot mania, our confused President on TV. But at that moment our only concern was removal of dead birds.

It took about a dozen garbage bags for our front yard. Larson Henley, our neighbor, had to borrow a few bags to get all of his. The dead crows were so bad in his yard, you could not see a bit of grass.

After all the bags were piled as high, we grab